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Low Voltage or mains lights

Postby JackB » Sat Mar 22, 2008 3:53 pm


We are looking to have downlighters put into our kitchen. What I would like to know is, would we be able to replace one ceiling fan that has 3x60W bulbs & another light fitting with 4x 25W bulbs in,with say, 10-12 low voltage downlights? Would this increase the load on the circuit? I've added up the amount of wattage from the lights on the circuit, which comes to 1010W. Or would I be able to have 240V downlighters Or would there be too much load on the circuit either way?


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Postby ericmark » Sun Mar 23, 2008 9:25 am

On old 16th Edition we were limited to 6 amp on the new 17th Edition we can go to 16 amp but not if there are any ceiling roses on the circuit as these are limited to 6 amp and 6 amp = 1380 Watt and you have 1010 Watt so this would need splitting into circuits or it would trip on switching on, and if there is very little else on the circuit it may be OK. But if you have a living room also with high amount of lights it could be a problem. Also a Kw is a lot of heat in an area with loads of other heating too so air conditioning will also be required of some sorts even if only big extractor fan. I am not a big believer in energy saving as in the main the old tungsten lamp saves more energy because the heat emitted is by radiation so allows lower air temperature for same comfort so saves more energy than energy saving bulbs, but in your case you will need to do something about the heat and I would think energy saving bulbs would make a lot of sense. Both LED and cold cathode are available but are a little longer than standard bulbs so check they will fit the fitting, and with cold cathode type you will need 230 volt fittings. New options seem to come on the market every week so you will need a trip to local supplier and not DIY place as they are normally not up to date. So go to electrical whole sale place. Then you can get the look and light without heat and power consumption.
Last edited by ericmark on Mon Mar 24, 2008 5:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Postby sparx » Mon Mar 24, 2008 3:54 pm

Just read your question and if I've understood it right you are removing 280Watts of lighting and replacing with downlights.
As low volt types are limited to choice of 20, 35, or 50watt lamps this means without adding much load to circuit dividing 280 by 20W = 14 lamps or 280/35W =8 lamps or using 280/50W = 6 lamps using a little extra power ie 300W, all of these need L/V transformers which have to be wired in and take some power to run and give off some heat above ceiling.
Using mains voltage fittings gives a greater choice of wattages and types ie normal tungsten, compact fluorescent, LED, the latter 2 wasting very little in the form of heat given off. Hope this more help than confusing but it's a very subjective area, good hunting,
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